The Yellow Room

The Yellow Room

by Mary Roberts Rinehart

A corpse has been discovered in the linen closet of the Spencer's Maine retreat.

However, Carol knows she is innocent.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Mystery
  • Rating: 3.73
  • Pages: 352
  • Publish Date: November 1st 1996 by Kensington
  • Isbn10: 0758204647
  • Isbn13: 9780758204646

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There is a pretty young girl, a murder, intrigue involving the young woman's family, and, of course, a dashing war hero in love with the heroine, and only too willing to use every means at his disposal to help her. When Carol leaves New York and travels to Maine, to open up their home there, she discovers many unsettling mysteries. When it is discovered that she arrived, asking about Carol, the heroine becomes a suspect in the eyes of the local police. The product of a more romantic era, The Yellow Room is very much a mystery where you can sense the changes the war brought about in young men. For those who like their mysteries old-fashioned, and a bit on the romantic side, The Yellow Room is a lot of fun.

Rating: 3.5* of five The Book Report: Poor Carol Spencer. She has a tiresome semi-invalid mama, a married older sister in love with her own comfort, a war hero brother who, despite being 10 years her elder acts like a schoolboy, and a dead body. (Not Carol, the dead trollop/wife.) Who killed the trollop...errr, lady? (And my haven't things changed since 1945 when this book was published...imagine being admitted to a hospital for a broken leg now, unless it required orthopedic surgery to reconstruct!) Was it the brother, who understandably did not wish to remain married to a trollop since he's from the summer-home class and, not that much is made of this, engaged to a bombshell of a rich girl? The major, gaping holes (characters appear then vanish never to be heard of again, gods come out of more boxes than UPS ever saw, the sleuth learns things that we don't which is a major cheat) weren't really a big issue in mysteries of the day. Back in 1945, a series character wasn't strictly speaking necessary for a writer to get a mystery published, and Rinehart was America's Dame Agatha, so no hook there since this book has no repeat characters.

At one of the most dramatic moments of life and death action, I actually laughed out loud. (And none of those words ever appeared in the print, either.) Times have certainly changed.

Carol, still grieving her dead fiancé during the final year of World War II, teams up with a convalescing soldier, Major Jerry Dane, to find out who the pretty dead blonde was and how it was that she had come to move in as a squatter at Crestview.

So this makes my eighth Mary Roberts Rinehart review for the year, with two more books finished and waiting their turn. So that makes eighteen of her books I've read in a very short period of time. This is the first time I've stopped to think about how many of her books I've read. Like most of Rinehart's heroines, Carol is more of an asset for the male protagonist, the love interest if you will. But what I love the most about this book, and every Rinehart book I've ever read, is the setting.

I love the suspense of the novels and the love stories that are interwoven.

Fellow Agatha Christie lovers add this book to your reading list immediately. The war is mainly mentioned as it relates to the town residents - the lack of available workers and many shortages of consumer goods.

Shoot, if you read the blurb on the book I have here beside me, you'd think that some evil terror hangs out in the Yellow Room of Carol Spencer's family home in the country and that she goes in mortal fear of her elder brother. It was a prison from which even the man she loved could not rescue her...a nightmare from which she could not awaken...where every heart beat brought her closer to the strange menace of--The Yellow Room And: Brother and Stranger It had been years since Carol Spencer had seen her brother Greg. Time and war had separated them, but Carol still could vividly remember his flashing smile, his easy grace, in the days when he had been a kind of a god to his younger sister. Carol and her help (a housekeeper/cook and two maids) arrive at the family home to open it in time to receive her elder brother Greg who is home on leave from service in WWII. ***Spoiler Alert***** Because after all, the war hero was tricked into a marriage with a "little tramp" who seemed to have come East specifically to blackmail somebody. (The "little" tramp would be the body in the closet.) And said hero was planning on marrying a society lady--who probably wouldn't be too happy to hear that her hubby-to-be had gotten himself entangled. Just when you think he's collected the final clue, along comes another to make you rethink the solution.

Carol Spencer has just arrived at the familys summer estate with two servants in tow. They are to open the house for the arrival of Carols brother Greg, a war hero who is on leave to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

While many of her books were best-sellers, critics were most appreciative of her murder mysteries.